In the month or so since my interview with Larry, I’ve been stupidly excited for his new project Bitter End. Clocking in at a mere fourteen minutes, the rapper’s latest is his most accomplished offering to date, a whirlwind run through the various branches of his talent: as a lyricist, as a multi-faceted spitter, and as an assembler of a tightly sequenced, fluid piece of music.
It is of course equally important to credit Killer Kane (who handles every beat here) for his immensely diverse production. ‘Jaws16’ stands out the most in this regard, a noir-ish assembly of eerie sounds. Larry’s bars are typically dope: ‘I could feed a hundred families straight long as I don’t slip, never sold crack in my life but got a cold wrist’. The incredibly talented Cambank$ rolls through to match his energy, quoting Jay-Z and sliding in his usual immaculate manner. There’s only three guest stars here, but each adds another dimension to the listening experience. SeKwence acts firstly in his usual guest feature role, delivering some hard-boiled lines: ‘That new pair of Nikes stomp your teeth, I’m dodging feds out in traffic with the piece out’, before launching into a pro-Souless tirade to remind the listener who it is they’re listening to. Barry injects ‘Bubblebody’ with one of his more lyrical turns: ‘You need work? Fuck the Apple, hit my motorola’ before sharing the hook with Larry. Kane excels here too, getting on his jazz shit for the most soulful vibe on the record.
Larry’s guest selection is great, but it’s a rare occasion where a collaboration works against him. On ‘Walklite’, he spits ‘Never check in on my bitch, she coming fully equipped, blood money dripping stains on the hood of my kicks’. His talent at rapping about real shit is impossible to match, every line he spits is gritty, reflective and boastful in equal measure. ‘Weighinmyoptions’ is my favourite of these performances, and the song where his chemistry with Kane is most apparent. There’s shades of other rappers at work here, but Larry is an unstoppable force here and I doubt anyone could have done this beat more justice. The song is propelled by impressive bass, and Larry literally spits for every single possible second, ensuring the whole song carries the same immense momentum. Another thing I must credit Larry for is his talent for hook writing. ‘Weighin’ features a seriously unsettling hook ‘Call up the doctor, feeling nauseous, somebody get me some water. Started this morning, my skin is crawling, eating the food from the garden’ that flows flawlessly.
Larry and Kane have put together something really special here, a dark, gritty exercise in quality, sub genre-hopping hip-hop that leaves me wanting a lot more. Shout out Souless, they continue to kill it with every single release.